Did someone steal your dog? Unfortunately, it is common for a jealous neighbor or family member to steal your dog (for a variety of reasons). Police Officers often consider this a “civil” matter, even though animals, including house-pets, are considered “property” under Colorado law. Typically, theft of property would result in criminal prosecution. However, due to high emotions and the difficulty at the time of the incident to determine who the “true” owner is, the police have to leave it to the civil justice system to issue a court order. Without a court order, police officers can not take property from one person and give it to another (or at least, they shouldn’t. If you have had a police officer take a dog from you without a court order, call us today, because we can help with this situation, too!).
It is important to hire an attorney who knows the proper process to file a lawsuit to retrieve your precious pup. The more time that goes by, the greater chance that your pup could be mistreated by his or her new “owner” and the more time the thief has to build a case that the stolen dog belongs to him/her.
You will want to file a lawsuit in replevin in County Court. There are free online forms that can help you, but it is always best to have a professional guide you through the process. You might also have more than one cause of action to sue under, which increases your chances of recovery of the animal and/or monetary damages.
As Colorado’s premier animal lawyers, we understand that your pet is more than a “pet”; we know your four-legged family member is an important part of your family and we know how to navigate the judicial system to get your family member back.
We have extensive experience litigating the return of stolen pets and look forward to working with you to get your family member back home!
Call 303-623-4000 for a FREE 30 minute consultation.